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Thread: Mast Swelling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Brevard, NC, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Mast Swelling

    I’ve never heard of anyone else having this problem, yet I have it on two separate boats. They are both wooden with wooden, deck stepped masts designed for trailering. They are both finished normally and stored outside, but under well ventilated covers. After a period of rain, which we often get here, the masts swell to the point that they no longer fit in the tabernacles and I have to wait for a drought to go sailing. I think I fixed one of them with a very thorough epoxy seal, but now it’s happening to my other boat.

    Is this a common problem? Is there something I should be doing differently? I guess, when this mast shrinks back down I can strip it, seal it with epoxy, drill/fill/drill the bolt holes and be more conscientious about storage, but again, I’ve never heard of anyone else having this problem.7D4F8F87-B003-4CBD-B20C-0253E5E1F44B.jpg
    Last edited by Hooper; 07-22-2021 at 11:46 AM. Reason: added picture

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    20,160

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    Gonna depend on how the bottom of the spar is built. I guess we can assume it is solid, but one piece of wood or many? Lammed of thin strips will be more stable than a section of tree.retro fitting epoxy may not be the best move.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Brevard, NC, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    They are both hollow with solid laminated bases. Each laminate seems to be about 1.5” thick.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    54,834

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    If they are stayed with shrouds and forestay, you can safely plane wood off utill they fit. then repaint with a good thickness of paint film. The heel is just a compression member there, under no bending, so with the blocking should be well strong enough.
    A picture of the tabernacle would help confirm that.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    76,488

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    Yes, I'm a bit unclear here. Fotos would help.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Brevard, NC, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    They are both stayed with similar tabernacles:
    61DA4E0B-3683-4491-AEA3-0A6EDA521838.jpg
    Last edited by Hooper; 07-22-2021 at 11:37 AM. Reason: Trouble adding photo-figured it out, I think

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    54,834

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    When they are swollen, plane the sides to fit. Epoxy bushing tubes into the bores and revarnish with about 8 coats.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    I am building a mast of similar construction so I am really interested in the answer.
    Almost looks like a crack between holes but it might be the picture. Are the bolt holes sealed?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    20,160

    Default Re: Mast Swelling

    Mebbe a lick o lanolin in dere

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